( and the reality that I meant to write this in January… and it’s nearly April. )
a call to no more self-propping
In a skirt and all by myself, I nearly leapt out of my front door into the grey Sunday. My mom stayed with the boys; Grafton, sleeping / Leland, playing.
I was bound to get a pedicure. I haven’t had a pedicure since before Noelle got married (Thanksgiving weekend) and it’s a miracle I have cut my toenails since then. I have. But that’s it. And it’s a miracle.
So, I left with the focused goal to get a pedicure. on the Sabbath. (….)
And I quickly realized that all nail salons in north Raleigh observe it. Which, honestly, breathe a sigh of relief with me,… except what was I to do with all of my time that I actually had to get a pedicure!?
Mom suggested Jubala. And though Saturday night I thought I might give up lattes because I am pretty sure they are my “McDonald’s” working against my general health and the last pounds of baby weight that I would prefer to lose, I took her advice. (Of all the times) 😉
I walked in through the back, almost got to the end of the long morning line, when a pretty little acquaintance from high school tapped me on the shoulder.
We ordered our drinks and she asked if I wanted to chat. She apologized twice for taking my me-time, but what was I going to do with myself!? I am glad she interrupted. And not only to solve that teeny conundrum.
We chatted and sipped, and at one point, she asked me if I knew of Lara Casey… She complimented me by saying that I looked like her – and that there was a way that she thought we were similar…
and did I know anything of her make-things-happen slogan and conference.
which – if you have never heard of this whole #makingthingshappen slogan – conference – motivation stuff, here’s a brief description – there’s a blog with a conference and a whole slew of things pinned and done and written and started with the slogan, making-things-happen. (Mostly) girls buy planners, start businesses, write blogs, do all sorts of whatever they want to do that’s trendy to do whatever whatever, with the unction that they are going to make things happen. The make-things-happen website/blog/conference talks about getting you “fired up” (motivated) to do whatever it is that you have always wanted to do, with the phrase, “Crush your fears, harness your passion, make it happen” under the picture of their smiling faces. It’s glittery and they’re good looking.
I said, barely, but I knew of and knew enough.
I asked if she wanted to know my response (not to Lara Casey as a person, because I don’t know her) but to the general make-things-happen slogan.
So I answered her.
And here was my answer, probably not verbatim, and by the grace of God, hopefully a little more filled out for you.
As an oldest of the family, type-A, redheaded, proactive woman, I do love a to-do list and getting things done. Goodness knows I do! The good Lord knows too…
And as He teaches me about what it means for me to fear Him and not to fear man, He orders my soul and my life in this way :
— The Lord, OVER all and IN all, feared, fully trusted, and followed
— Then my relationships, most significantly and most overwhelmingly, my husband and my two sons
— Then my to-do’s, goals, and aspirations, especially as they relate back to my relationship with the Lord and then with my husband and sons
As I learn and live ordered by the Lord soul, I must admit – making things happen is not on the top of my to do.
Truth be told, “making things happen” sounds to me like a lot of machinating and fanagling. A lot of running over and running, period. It sounds impressive, (but to who?) And sounds like a life lived in the fear of man not under the fear of God.
It sounds like your calendar, your planner, your to-do’s, your goals, you, the created, are the Lord and the worshipped of your life.
So, I so very humbly remind you I do not know Lara Casey or the other girls pictured with her across the banner of her blog. And I carefully repeat, I am a girl naturally bent towards wanting to get things done and sinfully warped to fear man.
And it was not with sweet fellow-writer friend encouraging me to share my response to making-things-happen that finalized my decision to write this blog post.
I left Jubala, forgetting to place my mug cup in the bin, and drove home, to my sons. I met a friend for lunch, rejoiced that prayers had been answered in one of her most significant relationships, and came home.
I nursed my little love, read to my big boy, and they both napped.
I napped too. With the thought, scared, in the back of my head, that, yes, back in January, I wanted to write my personal response to this slogan, and perhaps, a way of life (that I honestly think ends in utter defeat (we think so much of ourselves and we are so very weak to actually obtain, attain, and hold on to our own lofty goals)).
I was scared because I cannot sit face-to-face with blog readers and I hope they see and hear my heart as I explain my response. I know that so many of my sweet friends and so many others too pinned and planned and purposed to make things happen in 2014. And, girl, I do love a good goal.
I remember back at the end of December sitting with another sweet friend over breakfast with babes talking strongly that I did not agree with this whole make-things-happen campaign and I was saddened for my friends who were going for it in this way going into the new year. I told her that I wanted to write about it…
But when January started and ended, yes, by God’s great grace, some things had happened, and most importantly lives had been preserved, but honestly, the heavy weight of the Fall cloaked me as I watched friends battle for life, as I crept through the steady mundane of life not normal and my own silent battle against my desire for normality (…what exactly is normal anyways, amen?) and I knew from the still small voice of the Lord that I needed to stay in secret, stay tucked away in Him.
So, February flies by and March marches on…
…but still it wasn’t the sweet girl’s encouragement that brought me to actually uncover from my snuggly bed, silently grab the computer and slip out of my bedroom, nestle in on the couch in the dark grey of Sunday and start typing this post…
It was the moments I spent in the bed, after nap, awake, clutching my iPhone and reading coffee-date girlfriend’s blog posts… on writing, on to-do lists, on depression… that incited and encouraged me to write.
We all have to do lists accomplished and to do lists trashed, the realization of weakness that lead can lead to depression, and the constant self-propping up that people propose…
… and the fact that I once identified with this self-propping up and by His Great grace now identify with Christ and so attempt by the Helper’s Power to fulfill the Great Command to love the Lord with my all and love others as myself, …
I respond. in truth and love, my prayer and hope.
Dear friend, dear sweet family, dear self –
Do not fall prey to the fear of man. Fall into the arms of Jesus. The faster and harder you fall headlong into the fear of the Lord, the sooner and better you will Know life, Life Himself, life abundantly, life eternally. And you will live and learn and love the Lord with all you’ve got, others as yourself, your life that is now rooted and flourishing in Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, and of wisdom, and of life. No more propping up. No more paper piles of stupid to-do’s (or a wonderful notebook of perfect to-do’s). Breathe in freedom… breathe out fear…. and Live.
Know please, too, dear friend, that it’s not to-do’s and lists and goals that are the problem. The problem is us. It’s when we the created begin to worship and trust in other creations instead of our Creator. And it’s when we make anything else but Christ our identity and our prize. He is our Maker and Our Savior, our Sustainer and our Life. He is our Reward. So, Live – and live for Him.
Sometimes, it’s true, I make a to do list. Possibly even more surprising at this point is the fact that I own a planner.
But the thing is, dear love, that it is as the Lord has made me His, makes me new, and orders my soul, that I, in His great grace and as I fear His name, listen and obey Him.
And this year, He said yes to the pink planner on the end-cap in Target. So I in freedom took it home and filled the first month with pencilled notes.
And constantly I hold out before my eyes – Man makes his plans, but the Lord orders his steps. And I pray the Lord orders my steps. I remind my heart – I am His child and He takes care of me. So I let the Lord each minute take care of me, even when (oftentimes) His sweet care comes through messing up my plans.
And let’s call each other, brothers and sisters in the Lord, to live in Him, to let the Lord be Lord of each and every moment, plan, accomplishment, upset, stress, every little jot and tittle of our lives.
Let’s instead of looking harried at our pen and paper look hurriedly up to the Lord. Let’s get a HUGE vision of the Beautiful One. Let’s fix our eyes on the Author and Perfecter of our Faith – gaze into the face of the One who unconditionally loves us and is with us everywhere we are, who knows us and helps us and sustains our every breath.
Let’s not think any more that keeping our head in the game is the way to win. Let’s realize each day that keeping our head under His, and in His Word, is the only only only way to reach our great goal.
I mean honest to goodness, sweet friend, do we want to get to the end of our lives and think – well by golly I got my list accomplished! – and others to say, well, she sure did make things happen.
Would you like to say – Yes, I know Him! And I have lived as His for Him all the days of my life, humbly, loving Him with all I am and loving others the best way I know how – and then for others to say, well, she loved well, and she loves the Lord.
Friend, come on with me. Come on! Let’s look – away from ourselves and up to the Lord – and truly live.